When virtual reality first hit the market a few decades ago, the technology made waves around the world. People were fascinated by the virtual gaming experiences it offered. Even though the technology wasn’t particularly great, it still offered a glimpse into the potential for other kinds of applications. Since then, advances in technology have meant that virtual reality is now a viable substitute for many types of experiences, as well as a super useful tool for the tourism industry.
We take a look at the ways in which virtual reality is changing the face of tourism as we know it.
Virtual Travel Experiences
Most of us have places that we would really like to visit. However, travelling to these places isn’t always easy. Whether its work, accessibility, health, finances, or busy lives, often it’s not as simple as booking a ticket and taking off. Which is where virtual reality comes in.
It’s no secret that virtual reality is already changing the world as we know it. From virtual reality shopping to employee training to regional competitions, technology is transforming the way we go about our day to day lives, and it is no different when it comes to travel.
For example, many poker players compete online in order to qualify or practice for regional tournaments. Many have dreams of playing at the Main Event in the World Series of Poker. However, VR could change this. One platform, PokerStars, now offers a VR tour series called the VR Poker Tour. It’s offered alongside European Poker Tour events… but competitors won’t need to travel to participate.
Virtual travel experiences offer all the excitement of experiencing somewhere new, without even leaving the comfort of your own home. Take a virtual safari, go scuba diving, or see some of the most incredible national parks in the world, all from your sofa.
Revolutionizing the Booking Process
While nothing can ever replace actual reality, virtual reality technology offers a solution to those who want to take a peek into a potential travel destination, which is great news for travel agents and vacation providers. This sneak peek allows people to get an idea of what the destination will be like before they book, preventing potential disappointments and ensuring that tourists are heading to somewhere they will enjoy.
VR company YouVisit has found that more than 13% of people who take a VR tour of their potential destination take the next steps with booking the actual trip, which goes to show that this technology is only going to be super beneficial for businesses in the vacation industry.
VR will also help travel agents to plan vacations for those who are limited on time. When a traveller only has a certain amount of time in one place, VR tours and experiences mean that they can try it before they book anything, so they will be able to maximize their vacation time by avoiding experiences they might not enjoy. Of course, there is also the added bonus that VR is a lot more fun than spending hours sifting through websites and brochures!
Businesses like Jump To are fully embracing the benefits that VR offers by allowing travellers to get an immersive preview of hotels, local activities and attractions. This is particularly useful for hotels who have been using the same formats for marketing for decades. Virtual reality offers the hospitality sector a brand-new way of enticing guests to stay, by providing a completely transparent and informative look at their rooms, restaurants, and facilities.
According to Expedia, more than 78% of travellers have confirmed that they are heavily influenced by informative content around the destination and accommodation options, so offering a fully immersive experience before booking is a great way to reassure travellers at the booking stage and prevent any potential disappointments.
It also allows companies to narrate their services and products much more effectively. By enabling tourists to take virtual tours of the hotel suites and other facilities, it means that better booking decisions can be made. There is also the potential to turn one-time guests into recurring customers.
There is no doubt that VR technology is set to revolutionize the tourism industry as we know it. With virtual reality experiences, tours, and previews allowing companies to show their services off to tourists in a whole new way, the potential for increases in bookings and customer satisfaction returns is huge.
Would you consider using VR technology to travel? We would love to hear your thoughts on this.
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